Anglo-Saxon gold thrymsa by Unknown Artist

This extremely rare gold coin was unearthed at East Grafton, Wiltshire, in April 2015.

Details

Medium:
Gold
Dimensions:
1.27g
Art Fund grant:
£8,424 ( Total: £21,600)
Acquired in:
2016
Vendor:
Spink & Son

The coin was struck in modern-day France between about AD655 and AD675, during the time of the Merovingian kings. Coins were very unusual during this period in Anglo-Saxon England and usually represent a royal or ecclesiastical gift, sometimes given to people who travelled to France or Rome by a king or pope. This example is in good condition and must have been buried soon after it was struck, possibly to hide it during a battle. Tremissis was the currency of late ancient Rome, and the coins continued to be minted by the descendants of the empire. This tremissis shows the depiction of a king modelling himself on a Roman emperor, complete with a cross to symbolise his Christianity. The clasped hands on the reverse are a sign of peace and unity in his kingdom.

Provenance

Believed to have been found in East Grafton, Wiltshire, April 2015

Venue details

Wiltshire Museum 41 Long Street, DEVIZES Wiltshire SN10 1NS 01380 727369 www.wiltshiremuseum.org.uk

Entry details

Free with National Art Pass (standard entry £5.50)

Mon – Sat, 10am – 5pm
Sun, 12noon – 4pm

Jan  Easter closed on Mondays (except half term)

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